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As of June 25, 2018, we’ve made some changes to the way our mortgage approvals work. You can read more about our Power Buyer ProcessTM.

As of July 29, 2018, Fannie Mae revised its income limits for some of its lending programs. These limits may not apply for your loan if you live in a low-income area. Details are below.

Freddie Mac, one of the nation’s major mortgage investors, has updated the income limits for its Home Possible program for 2017. For the loan programs that take the Home Possible income limits into account, clients can’t make more than 100% of the area median income in order to qualify.

Income limits went up in many areas across the country. If you didn’t qualify for these programs before, it might be time to apply again.

According to Freddie Mac, there were changes to the limits in over 99% of counties across the country. We’ll go over what the income rules are and how to check your eligibility. Then we’ll talk in more detail about the programs affected by this change.

Home Possible Income Limits

Here at Quicken Loans, we offer two different programs that use the updated income limits: there’s the original Home Possible program along with one that allows clients to put down 1% while getting a 2% equity grant from Quicken Loans for a total of 3% equity.* New applications for the 1% down loan option well and on January 31, 2018. We’ll go over the details on each of these loan options in a moment.

For now, the biggest special guideline of either of these programs is that you can’t make more than 100% of the area median income in your county. One important caveat is that these income limits don’t apply if you’re in an area that Freddie Mac considers underserved or one that has been labeled a disaster area by the federal government.

The income limit changes are good news for most clients. Freddie Mac says the area median income went up in over 80% of the population areas across the country. Not only does this mean incomes are rising, it also means some clients who didn’t qualify before due to the income limits may find that it’s worth looking into the program again.

In the remaining parts of the country, the limits either stayed the same or went down. If you had an application in process prior to June 13 and income limits went down in your area, you won’t lose eligibility as a result of the change.

If you want to find out the income limits in your area, go ahead and check out this search engine from Freddie Mac.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at a few of the programs affected by these changes.

Quicken Loans 1% Down Program

We offer a loan option for well-qualified clients where you can put 1% down and get a 2% equity grant from Quicken Loans.* While that sounds like a pretty good deal, you have to meet the income limits specified above as well as a few other guidelines:

  • The property being purchased has to be a one-unit primary residence, condo, planned unit development (PUD) or townhouse
  • You have to have a minimum FICO score of 680 or higher
  • In order to have the best chance of approval, your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio shouldn’t exceed 45%

Finally, this loan option can’t be used to refinance.

Home Possible Program

If the 1% down program doesn’t meet your needs, we have the Home Possible program as well. With this option, the same income restrictions apply. For a purchase, it must be a single-unit residence. Here are the rest of the details.

There’s a minimum down payment of 3%. The good news here is that you can qualify with a FICO score of 620 or higher.

Finally, with this option, you can refinance provided you meet the minimum equity requirements. For a one-unit property, you must maintain at least 3% equity. If you have two units, the minimum is 5%. Finally, for a three- or four-unit property, you must maintain equity of at least 20%.

If either of these loan options sounds good to you, you can get a preapproval or a complete refinance approval online through Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans®. If you would rather get started by phone, one of our Home Loan Experts would be happy to take your call at (800) 785-4788.

*The payment on a $200,000 30-year fixed-rate loan at 4.75% (5.253% APR) with an LTV of 97% is $1043.30, which includes a mortgage insurance payment of $95. Taxes and homeowners insurance are not included. Rates shown valid on publication date of 07/07/2017. Restrictions may apply.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Good afternoon,

    Fannie Mae changed its guidelines in July 2017 to treat timeshare loans as installment loans, regardless of how they are treated on the credit report. Do you know if that change applies to Freddie Mac as well? The whole Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac thing is confusing to me in some ways. How does Quicken determine which set of guidelines the mortgage will have to conform to? We were trying for a mortgage in November, but the computer would not approve it due to the timeshare reporting as a mortgage. Do you know if that has been updated yet?


    1. Hi Tammy:

      Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are different companies even though they’re both government-sponsored entities (GSEs). They have slightly different requirements and because one does something doesn’t necessarily mean it will apply for the other. In terms of how we decide who goes to Fannie Mae and who goes to Freddie Mac, we go with the one that has a solution the client qualifies for. I see you’re currently working with us. I’m going to go ahead and have someone reach out to you to go over any potential options.

      Kevin Graham

  2. I read their were change to the 1% down program via fannie mae. As of Nov 1, 2017 the 3% down had to come from the purchaser no more 2% coming from the leander and 1% from purchaser. What program will you have now to put the least amount down. My credit score is 700+.

    1. Hi Eric:

      The 1% down program is through Freddie Mac. I can tell you that at this time it’s still something we offer and you can absolutely still apply. The next lowest down payment program requires that you put 3% down. You can get that option through Freddie Mac. It’s also available through Fannie Mae in certain circumstances. If you would like, you can look at your options through Rocket Mortgage or go ahead and give one of our Home Loan Experts a call at (888) 980-6716. We would be happy to work with you.

      Kevin Graham

    1. Hi Tricia:

      We do have this blog post on ways of improving your credit score. We also have a credit checking and credit tips service in QLCredit. You can see your credit score and get personalized tips. Finally, one of our Home Loan Experts may have ideas if you give us a call at (888) 980-6716. I hope this helps!

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